“Sleepy time stories are powerful in that they convey to the infant that they are loved and are special to their parents who care enough for them that they devote this special experience each evening,” says child psychiatrist Edward R. Ritvo, MD.

Ritvo, a retired Professor of Child Psychiatry at the UCLA Medical School and an internationally acclaimed autism researcher, has published a collection of sleep time stories shared by three generations in his family,  Sleep Time Stories: The Adventures of Pee Wee.

He wrote the Sleep Time Stories to memorialize the stories his father told and to encourage parents to tell “sleep time” rather than bedtime stories to their children. He says sleep time stories promote bonding between the child and parent/caretaker, which is a key foundation to developing a healthy child with strong self-esteem.

A sleep time story occurs when the lights are turned down low, the door is closed, and only parent and child are in the room with the parent/caretaker’s full attention focused on the infant. The child falls asleep in a comfortable happy frame of mind knowing they are loved.